Gideons Trumpet

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Summary: Published in 1964, Gideon's Trumpet is based off a true story of one man's quest to be given the right to have a counsel appointed to him by the court. Constitution's Sixth Amendment declared he had a right to counsel and he fought hard to obtain justice. If Gideon didn't realize that he had a right to counsel, this case would have never been held and the legal sytem might still be the same today! Clarence Earl Gideon is a man that most Americans outside of the legal system, as well as within it, would not even recognize who he was. The author, Anthony Lewis, wanted this change and wanted the citizens of the United States to see the dramatic impact that the Gideon's case had on the legal system. Gideon felt like he was in an unfair situation and filled out a hand-written petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. Lewis brings to life the story of the man behind the case, preserving an important piece that has forever changed the legal and social history. Gideon was in and out of prison cells must of his adult life but was not considered to be characterized as a professional criminal or even a violent person. He had trouble just fitting into the rest of society and as the author wrote, "Those who had known him, even the men who had arrested him and those who were now his jailers, considered Gideon a perfectly harmless human being, rather likeable, but one tossed aside by life. Anyone meeting him for the first time would be likely to regard him as the most wretched of men"(Lewis 6). Gideon cared so much about life and freedom and felt betrayed by the court of Florida and was not going to stop until he could change it. Arrested in 1961, Gideon had been charged with breaking and entering a poolhall in Panama Cit... ... middle of paper ... ...individual can completely change the way the Courts view a defendant. During this time period the system only viewed people with special circumstances (EX: Mentally Ill) or those who have raped or murdered to be assigned counsel, but it seems obvious that every criminal should be entitled to be appointed counsel. That is exactly what Gideon fought for, he believed he was innocent and the only way to prove this is with a lawyer who understands the "ins" and the "outs" of the legal system to give their client the best possible outcome. I would recommend this book to all pursuing undergrad and graduate Law students because it shows how one person can change the Supreme Court's ruling. With all of the legal input and jargon throughout the entire book will benfit law students and they will understand that no matter how small or weak, the common people have the power.

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